Illinois International is guided by the leadership of the Associate Chancellor and Vice Provost for Global Affairs & Strategies, the Associate Provost for Illinois International, and unit directors.

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Reitumetse Obakeng Mabokela, Ph.D.

Associate Chancellor and Vice Provost for Global Affairs & Strategies
Professor of Higher Education

Administrative Assistant: Deborah Lowe-Morgan

Prof. Reitumetse Obakeng Mabokela is the Associate Chancellor and Vice Provost for Global Affairs & Strategies and Professor of Higher Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She also holds an Extra-ordinary Professorship in the Faculty of Education at the University of Pretoria (South Africa). She received her BA in Economics from Ohio Wesleyan University, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She received a Master’s in Labor & Industrial Relations and a Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies, both from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to her current appointment, she served as the Assistant Dean for International Studies and Professor of Higher Education at Michigan State University.

Among her various honors, Prof. Mabokela is a recipient of an Honorary Doctorate in Education, honoris causa, from the University of Pretoria, a former Fulbright New Century Scholar, as well as a Fulbright International Education Administrators program participant in France. Prof. Mabokela's research seeks to understand experiences of marginalized populations and aims to inform and influence institutional policies that affect these groups within institutions of higher education. Her research centers or has centered on the examination of three interrelated themes: 1) organizational change and organizational culture in higher education; 2) gender in higher education; and 3) higher education in transitional societies. She has devoted a significant part of her career over the past two decades studying these education issues in South Africa, Namibia, Tanzania, Ghana, Egypt, and Pakistan, among others. Over the course of her career, she has secured more than $27 million in external funding to support various education and research initiatives.

She is the author, co-author, editor or co-editor of seven books and has published extensively in national and international academic journals including the Comparative Education Review, American Educational Research Journal, the Africa Education Review, and The Review of Higher Education, Comparative Education, Higher Education, among others.

Review of Higher Education, Comparative Education, Higher Education, among others.

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Dr. Luis Canales

Associate Provost for Illinois International


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Dr. Canales joined Illinois International in April 2021 and serves as Associate Provost for Illinois International. He provides leadership, direction, and oversight to the administrative services within the Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs and Global Strategies as well as its reporting units, including: Global Education and Training, Global Relations, Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange, International Safety and Security, and International Student and Scholar Services. Prior to joining Illinois International, Dr. Canales was Director of the Office of International Studies and Programs at Illinois State University. Dr. Canales received his B.A. in Psychology, Masters in Counseling and Personnel Services, and Ph.D. in Leadership and Organizational Development from the University of Louisville.

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Andrew Collum

Director for International Safety and Security


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Andrew joined Illinois International in 2017 as the Associate Director for International Safety and Security and assumed the role of Director in 2020. He develops and coordinates policies and procedures that support the safety and well-being of Illinois students, faculty, and staff traveling abroad for study or university business. Andrew also provides global emergency response services to travelers. Before working for Illinois International, Andrew served in the U.S. Army as a political-military specialist on Africa. He holds an M.A. in African Studies from Ohio University and a B.S. in International Relations from the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York.

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Denise Esworthy

Associate Director for Human Resources


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Denise joined Illinois International in September 2014. She serves as primary HR contact to Illinois International units and LAS Centers with dual reporting relationships with Illinois International, Diversity Advocate, Intake Specialist, Department Classifier, and back-up to the Associate Director of HR. Before joining Illinois International, she worked one year for FAA Shared Services and 14 years with University Payroll and Benefits, bringing with her experience in foreign national payment processing to support the campus internationalization goals.

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Sammer Saleh Jones

Director for Global Relations


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Sammer Saleh Jones is the Director for Global Relations at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where she is responsible for developing and fostering University international relationships through engagement at the institutional, national and international level. She joined Illinois International Programs (IIP) in 2018 after her position as the first project coordinator for the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Gifted Student Program (KGSP) under the Global Education and Training unit of IIP.

She completed her BS in Pre-Med/African American Studies from Simmons College, MPH in Social and Behavioral Sciences from Boston University, and MBA and PhD in Educational Policy Studies, both from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Her research focuses on nineteenth century educational history of Liberia, West Africa. Among her many credentials, her effectiveness as a teacher and mentor to undergraduate students has been demonstrated through her recognition across several semesters on the “List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent” at Illinois while she was a doctoral candidate.

Her multidisciplinary educational and professional experiences have afforded her the ability to work internationally in the fields of business, health and education in countries such as Liberia, South Africa and as well as domestically in various U.S. states.

Prior to her graduate studies at Illinois, Sammer worked at Harvard School of Public Health on violence prevention and at the MetroHealth Center in Cleveland on a longitudinal breast cancer study.

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Deborah Lowe-Morgan

Assistant to the Vice Provost for International Affairs and Global Strategies


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Deborah first joined Illinois International as an Administrative Aide in December 2020 before being promoted to Assistant to the Vice Provost for International Affairs and Global Strategies in July 2022. Before joining Illinois International, Deborah was the Visiting Assistant Director of Donor Relations for the Education Justice Project in the College of Education. Deborah received her B.S. in Business Administrations from Chicago State University. As Assistant to the Vice Provost for International Affairs and Global Strategies, Deborah's main duties include providing executive-level administrative support to the Office of the Vice Provost, including managing general operations for the main office. Additionally, Debbie will lead the daily operations of Illinois International's Shared Administrative Services.

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Martin McFarlane

Director, International Student and Scholar Services


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Martin became director of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) in 2015. A former international student himself, he had been with the ISSS office for ten years prior to becoming director, and held responsibility as the office’s primary expert on student visa policies and regulations. Martin earned his Master’s degree in English and Film Studies from the University of Aberdeen.

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Joy Phaphouvaninh

Director, Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange


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Joy began serving as the Director of IAGE in September 2017. She originally joined IAGE in 2013 as Assistant Director for Academic Integration. In her role, Joy collaborates closely with both on campus academic departments and international partners abroad to identify and develop study abroad programming that aligns with and complements academic learning goals. She also oversees the incoming exchange student program and study abroad academic processing teams for IAGE. Previously, Joy worked at the City University of New York in New York, NY, and developed a variety of study abroad policies for the university system. She has a background in refugee and immigrant services in government and non-profit sectors, and studied abroad in India. Joy earned her B.A. in Religious Studies and Asian Studies from Kenyon College and M.A. in Sustainable Development from the SIT Graduate Institute, and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Educational Policy, Organization and Leadership from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

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Matt Rosenstein

Director, Global Education and Training


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Matt Rosenstein became Director of Global Education and Training (GET) in 2015. During Matt’s tenure, the Shanghai Office and the Intensive English Institute became a part of GET. Prior to joining GET, from 2010-2015 he was Senior Associate Director of the European Union Center (EUC) at the University of Illinois. Rosenstein also served as EUC’s Director of Graduate Studies for the Master of Arts degree program in EU Studies. Previously, Rosenstein was Associate Director of the Program in Arms Control, Disarmament and International Security (ACDIS) at Illinois from 2001-2010. He holds Ph.D. and M.A. degrees from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and a B.A. degree from Duke University.

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Marta Schneider

Director for Global Communication


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Marta serves as Director for Global Communication. Her primary responsibility is to plan, execute, and evaluate strategic communications that globally promote the university and its international initiatives and achievements. She manages Global Communication shared services, working closely with unit staff, the leadership team, and campus offices to ensure streamlined communication with both internal and external audiences. Additionally, as a member of the Global Strategy implementation team, Marta is responsible for the promotion and planning of related activities. Marta has been with Illinois International since 2015, first as Digital Communications Specialist and later as Coordinator for Global Communication, Assistant Director for Global Communication, and Associate Director for Global Communication.

Prior to joining Illinois International, Marta worked in communications and outreach for non-profit organizations in Japan, India, and the United States. Marta brings with her a strong background and enthusiasm for all things international. Although a native of Illinois, she spent many years living and studying in Japan. Marta earned her B.A. in Asian Studies and Economics from Knox College, her M.S. in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and studied for a year at Waseda University in Japan.

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John Todd

Associate Director for Budgeting and Resource Planning


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John holds a Master of Business Administration from Illinois State University and a Bachelor of Arts, Liberal Arts and Sciences with a minor in Sociology from the University of Illinois. He has worked at Heartland Community College for over 9 years bringing experience in planning fundraising events, developing policies and procedures for college grant office, writing and editing grant applications, overseeing Adult Education budget, fiscal and programmatic guidance, served on the college’s strategic and accreditation planning team, as well as provided one-on-one trainings.

As the Associate Director for Budgeting and Resource Planning, John is responsible for managing and provide daily oversight of fiscal activity for Illinois International, including providing leadership of all financial facets, budget oversight, expenditure analysis, outreach and administer fellowships and awards, and ad hoc financial reporting.